Connect with us

Op/Ed

ListingDoor model and assertions are not only offensive to Realtors, but wildly inaccurate

ListingDoor, built by a veteran Realtor says they save buyers from paying broker’s commissions, which they call a “loss of as much as 40 to 50% of home equity.” What?!

Published

on

listingdoor

A statement circulated today by ListingDoor.com proves the old truism that “All real estate is local” and rides the new wave of websites promising to help homeowners sell their homes better, faster, cheaper, all by themselves. They’re calling themselves the “Uber” of real estate. Interesting…

Last June, I wrote here about OpenDoor.com’s $9 million launch that promised an oh-so-similar result (“Sold. The Minute You’re Ready,” the site brags). A quick check today shows a whopping 45 move-in-ready homes listed on their site for sale, all in the Phoenix, Airzona area. I tried entering various zip codes and addresses from across the country, as if I was a homeowner trying to use their service, with no luck. I’m not worried that homeowners in 95 percent of the United States will be trying this any time soon.

“Veteran Realtor” launches startup with recycled model

Today the launch is ListingDoor.com – similar name, similar vision, and even more hyperbole in their promotional materials.

Let’s start with the first sentence of their press release: “In response to the thriving FSBO market, veteran real estate broker and author Sissy Lappin launches ListingDoor.com, providing profitable and powerful marketing tools for homeowners, giving them everything they need to successfully sell their home on their own.” While some parts of the country are experiencing inventory shortages and perhaps FSBO’s have an easier time than in the recent past, this is by no means a nationwide phenomenon. I am not sure where she is seeing a “thriving FSBO market” but it is not everwhere.

Lappin states that “today homeowners are privy to all the same market information as real estate agents, allowing homeowners to efficiently determine the value of their home.” Really, as Zillow has proven? Because the “Zestimate” is never wrong?

The site states that a homeowner plugs in basic data and they will churn out a market report and advise in pricing. AVMs (automated valuation models) are better than they used to be, true. But in many parts of the country, especially rural areas without lots of data points, the valuations are more often skewed (extremely high or low) than they are correct.

Why would a broker say AVMs are superior to CMAs?

I find it interesting that Lappin, a real estate broker, would tout that an online computer modeled valuation would be more accurate than a skilled agent in pricing a home.

Take for example the “best house in the neighborhood.” You have a high-end home that has numerous upgrades and amenities unseen from the street and are not reflected on a tax parcel card. This luxury home sits in a predominantly middle-class neighborhood where homes are of builder-grade, no upgrades, and less square footage. Do you think that this home will be priced more accurately by a computer model or by a in-the-flesh neighborhood expert?

These business models imply agents are just door openers

What all of these sites discount or take for granted is that agents do much more than hand you a CMA and suggest a price. They are more than door openers and open-house-sitters.

A good agent does his/her job well and gets the house sold for the highest price possible in the least amount of time on market (if that is the seller’s goal). A great agent counsels and advises, listens to the seller’s needs and take all of this into account as they guide the seller through the maze of a process.

I take offense to ListingDoor.com’s statements

While I am obviously not a fan of any site that proposes to “cut the middle man” (the agent) out of the transaction as if we hold no value, I take offense to this site’s twisting of statistics and figures to pull at a viewer’s gut.

ListingDoor proposes that a broker’s commission is a “loss of as much as 40 to 50% of home equity.” So a commission is not a “fee” – it is the broker stealing up to half the seller’s home equity. Wow. Talk about sensationalism.

Market online, but not the MLS… what?

In addition to their offering a market analysis (which is actually NOT market analysis, as no human is analyzing the facts and figures and analyzing anything, it is a computer generated crap shoot), the site states that they promote the house online and in social media marketing – but do not use the MLS.

While I agree social media marketing is crucial in selling homes these days, the MLS is still alive and kicking (and the standard source of syndication to all of the real estate portals). You can advertise on social media, but many active homebuyers will contact their own buyer’s agent in order to then make that appointment.

Avoiding the MLS cuts out any buyer’s agents who may not be aware of your home, as well as those who choose not to show FSBO’s as part of their business model (we won’t go into the ethics of this here, as that is another column completely).

“Avoid the pitfalls that come with using a real estate agent,” the site says

To drive the point home one more time, ListingDoor states that they teach you “step-by-step the right way to sell your home and avoid the pitfalls that come with using a real estate agent.”

Wow. What an amazing statement. This site’s entire marketing push seems to be that real estate agents are the enemy to avoid. We steal your home’s equity and somehow make it harder and more dangerous to sell with us than without us.

The bottom line: ListingDoor ignores the agent’s value

Cutting out the “middleman” may work in some markets, for some sellers who have expertise and knowledge in handling negotiations and transactions – but it’s not for everyone. Buying and selling a home may be the biggest financial transaction someone may make. This isn’t filing your 1040EZ form through Turbo Tax.

I personally wouldn’t want to represent a seller who feels I bring no value to the table, and that my knowledge and skills can be replaced by a computer model. The first hurdle in the sale is finding a buyer. After that is when an agent’s true value is realized, as we keep the deal together and delicately negotiated through the weeks and perhaps months required to close a loan these days.

Our value is not just in pricing a home and filling in the blanks in a contract. When the deal threatens to fall apart, that’s when “salespeople” disappear and “experts” emerge.

#ListingDoor

Erica Ramus is the Broker/Owner of Ramus Realty Group in Pottsville, PA. She also teaches real estate licensing courses at Penn State Schuylkill and is extremely active in her community, especially the Rotary Club of Pottsville and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. Her background is writing, marketing and publishing, and she is the founder of Schuylkill Living Magazine, the area's regional publication. She lives near Pottsville with her husband and two teenage sons, and an occasional exchange student passing thru who needs a place to stay.

Op/Ed

Gender discrimination still exists, even blatantly in job descriptions

(EDITORIAL) Surely after a century, we have learned half the population can work just the same as the other half right? Down with discrimination.

Published

on

Woman taking notes representing gender discrimination.

Suzanne Lucas, Evil HR Lady reported a job description post for a hospitalist from Ascend Medical that said, “women don’t do well here.” The posting was taken down once it was brought to Ascend Medical’s attention, but it does beg the question how something like that was allowed to get through two organizations. First, Ascend Medical didn’t proofread what was posted; then, ZipRecruiter’s algorithms didn’t catch the obvious gender discrimination.

Gender discrimination in job descriptions is against the law.

One hundred years ago, Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Federal law addressed gender discrimination in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For 58 years now, it’s been illegal to discriminate against women in employment.

It’s difficult to imagine anyone of any generation currently in the workplace who doesn’t understand gender discrimination. Unfortunately, discrimination still exists in the workplace. The Ascend Medical posting might have been a fluke, but Pew Research estimates that over 40% of women experience discrimination in the workplace based on gender.

Pew Research reports that women get passed over for important assignments, based on gender. Many women earn less than the man doing the same job. Women believe that they get less support from senior leaders because of gender. Women are three times more likely than men to experience sexual harassment on the job.

How can gender equality in the workplace be improved?

Hiring managers have to do better when it comes to writing job descriptions. Workers need to talk about gender inequality and address it with HR or other managers. Evaluate the jobs in your business and look for gender bias. Do you expect the women in your office to answer the phones and plan the parties? When you promote, are you looking at the strengths of your workers, not their gender? Are you offering training and mentoring to all of your employees?

The gender gap has been a thing for decades. I’d like to think that many businesses are doing better. But as the Ascend Medical job posting demonstrates, we still have a ways to go.

Continue Reading

Op/Ed

16 easy-to-digest networking tips

(EDITORIAL) Short-form content and blurbs are all the rage. Every social media platform has limited characters, so here are 16 quick networking tips.

Published

on

Handshake between two people representing networking representing the question technique.

These days, we like everything in bite-sized, easy-to-digest pieces of information. We’re so oversaturated with news, that it’s only possible to (kind of) keep up with it through a medium such as Twitter where we can get a brief news capture and see what’s trending. But even then it’s overwhelming, so @Ethos3 cast a net asking for networking tips – in 140 characters or less. Here are 16 of the most useful pieces of networking information the search yielded:

“When networking, inquire about passions, hobbies and interests, instead of asking “Where do you work?” – @DaveKerpen

“When you first meet someone, use his or her name a few times to create a feeling of familiarity,” – @CIOonline

“Don’t immediately send a LinkedIn invite to a new contact. Follow up that night or the next day,” – @RealBusiness

“Adam Rifkin a respected networker in Silicon Valley suggests: Don’t rush relationships; trust takes time,” – @Bakadesuyo

“Don’t attend networking events with a list of things you want. Arrive with a list of things you can offer,” – @LearnVest

“Need a reason to network? “Succeeding in business is all about making connections” – Richard Branson,” – @EntMagazine

“Once you’ve made a new contact, ask what method of follow up they prefer: email, phone, LinkedIn, or other,” – @USnews

“During conversations, focus on the other person. Learn what makes them tick. Ask, listen, observe,” – @ChrisBrogan

“Interesting people easily make meaningful connections. Be able to talk about topics other than work,” – @HuffPost

“The business-building “gold” is not in collecting business cards but in the solid relationships you build,” – @Forbes

“Offer to help people. “The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity” – Keith Ferrazzi,” – @Ferrazzi

“If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there,” – @TheRealKiyosaki

“Most people at events are in the same situation: they don’t know many people; they welcome icebreakers,” – @Steamfeedcom

“When in doubt, discuss the setting or the event. How? Do your homework about the event, and be observant,” – @RealSimple

“Take a friend with refined social skills to networking events to ease the awkwardness of breaking the ice,” – @Dailymuse

“Apply to be a speaker at conferences. Networking at the event is easier if everyone knows your name,” – @Ethos3

Now get out there and network your hearts out!

Continue Reading

Op/Ed

How home builders have adapted to the rise in multi-generational co-living

(EDITORIAL) Multi-generational living and landlord co-living has seen a rise in popularity. How are builders keeping up?

Published

on

Large house representing co-living.

Homesharing is on-trend in the United States. It’s giving younger Americans a way to break into the highly competitive housing market. Homesharing is often considered #CoLiving. The homeowner rents out a portion of the home to family members or even strangers. Co-living is not the traditional roommate agreement where everyone shares the living space. Co-living spaces are designed to be private, from a bedroom and bathroom to an entire floor complete with bedrooms, a kitchen, and other amenities. Some builders are even building homes designed specifically for co-living with larger communal spaces and larger closets. What’s driving this trend?

Multi-generational living on the increase

According to Pew Research, the number of Americans who live in multigenerational family homes has quadrupled since the 1970s. A multigenerational household is defined as “two or more adult generations living in one home” or a skipped generation, such as grandparents and grandchildren. In 2021, the National Association of REALTORS® suggests two reasons for multi-generational homes.

  1. Aging parents move back in with their adult children as part of caregiving, both for themselves but also to help care for younger children.
  2. Pooling incomes to afford a larger home or to rely on others in a potential loss of income.
  3. Adult children who never left the family home are continuing to share the home while they save money to move out on their own or simply wait to inherit the family home.

Pew Research says,

“Americans in multigenerational households are less likely to live in poverty.”

The financial advantages to living with others, whether in your family or not, can be huge.

Co-living has its opponents

A recent ordinance passed in Shawnee, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, banned co-living with four or more unrelated people. Ostensibly, the ban was to prevent investors from buying up properties to allow for more renters. The goal of the City Council was to keep the housing market from ballooning. However, the ban on co-living doesn’t prevent homeowners from renting to one to three individuals nor does it prevent multigenerational living.

Co-living is a trend to watch.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Partners

Get The Daily Intel
in your inbox

Subscribe and get news and EXCLUSIVE content to your email inbox!

Still Trending

Get The American Genius
in your inbox

subscribe and get news and exclusive content to your email inbox